Trump to be arraigned in Georgia jail notorious for deaths, outbreaks, overcrowding, and unnecessary detentions

August 18, 2023
Ben Marquis

Former President Donald Trump will soon be arraigned in Georgia on the criminal indictment filed against him by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis about the efforts of him and others to challenge the disputed results of the 2020 election.

When that arraignment occurs, it will happen in the Fulton County Jail, a facility that is notorious for being overcrowded with people who are unnecessarily detained for extended periods, and where there have been assorted outbreaks of disease and people have died in custody, according to the Daily Caller.

That said, it seems rather unlikely that Trump would be detained in the Fulton County Jail ahead of trial, and he most likely will quickly pass through the facility after being fingerprinted and having mug shots taken.

Jail is significantly overcrowded with unnecessary detentions

In 2022, the American Civil Liberties Union released a damning analysis of the Fulton County Jail and its population of detainees that highlighted egregious injustices and offered recommendations for improvements.

At the time of the report, it was found that the jail had exceeded its supposed max capacity of around 2,600 detainees by nearly 300 additional people, as well as that more than twice that number were being unnecessarily detained and should be released.

It was noted that, as of September 2022, of the 2,892 people detained at that time, approximately 728 of them were over-detained.

That included 293 who were detained for their inability to post bail; 515 who had yet to be charged with any crime after 90 days; 242 held solely on alleged misdemeanors; and 105 people who were otherwise eligible for non-incarceration diversion programs. It was acknowledged that some detainees fit into more than one of those several categories.

Numerous people have died in the jail

In an August 2023 follow-up, the ACLU reported that the Fulton County Jail was also a potentially deadly place to be detained, as at least 18 detainees had died there while held in custody since January 2022.

One particularly horrifying example was that of LaShawn Thompson, who reportedly died of malnourishment and neglect in 2022 while being held for months ahead of a misdemeanor trial due to his inability to post a $2,500 bond.

Another terrible example was that of a 19-year-old female detainee named Noni Battiste-Kosoko, who died in her cell in July under unknown circumstances while being held on allegations that she had damaged and vandalized tables and walls in her high school.

Jail notorious for outbreaks, malnourishment of detainees

The ACLU is not alone in calling out the Fulton County Jail for its shortcomings either, as the Southern Center for Human Rights issued a press release in November 2022 to highlight how the facility was "dangerously understaffed and overcrowded" and notoriously "mismanaged for decades" by the county sheriff.

All of that contributed in recent years to serious outbreaks among the population of detainees of COVID-19 as well as things like lice and scabies, which can lead to other potentially deadly infections and health conditions if left untreated.

Shockingly, it was also revealed that in addition to some detainees being denied "essential medications" for certain conditions, numerous detainees were severely malnourished, so much so that some were suffering from a syndrome known as "cachexia," most commonly found in late-stage cancer patients, in which the individual's fat and muscle are literally wasting away due to lack of vital nourishment.

To be sure, again, it seems highly unlikely that former President Trump will be subjected to anything more than a swift pass-through of the facility while being booked as part of his arraignment, but perhaps his high-profile but brief detention in the notorious jail will direct sufficient attention to the dismal conditions there and prompt necessary and apparently overdue corrective measures.

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